Chapter 1. Prologue
The dungeon was closed.
The dungeon in Seorim-dong Park was dissolved and the boss monster that had not been killed yet was vomited out. It was a wild dog beast with a horn on his head.
The boss was subjugated in an instant by the hunters who were waiting in advance. Other than a couple of benches being broken, there were no casualties.
But Do-joon did not return.
“Classified as a Dungeon Refugee…… Go ahead with the basic procedures.”
The team leader scratched his head looking at Lee Ji-ah, who was unusually drooping. Lee Ji-ah’s experience is 6 years. As the team leader knows, this was probably the first time she has lost an Awakened person.
“Can I talk to you for a bit?”
At that moment, a sleek-looking man dressed in a suit approached the two.
The team leader, who had taken out a cigarette and yielded it, re-inserted it into his pocket. The suit guy handed him a business card.
“I’m with the Karma Guild legal team.”
“……What can we do for you?”
Karma was the guild in charge of hunting this dungeon.
In other words, there were still monsters left, but he is the one who said that they killed them all.
“Yeah, well. I heard there was a little mistake in this attack.”
The lawyer spoke with a depressing grin.
The team leader gritted his teeth secretly. They call the case of a missing person a simple mistake. Yeah, that would be a mistake. They wouldn’t have messed it up on purpose.
‘You can’t talk like that!’
The lawyer was really languid as if he had gone on a trifle of business.
The same goes for Karma’s Hunters, who were resting in the waiting room after finishing Boss Monster. I could hear giggles all the way here about something funny.
“I don’t know if you know, but we’re in the middle of an expansion. It’s not good to talk about something unsavory at times like this. Anyway, I contacted the upper ranks of the association and…….”
“……Stop it. I got it.”
“I’m glad the conversation went well.”
He was not doing it implicitly, he was threatening them to keep their mouth shut.
The team leader, who was only a low-level civil servant, could not resist.
The upper ranks of the association were closely tied to high-ranking guilds from the beginning.
In this world where people’s lives have become slightly less precious due to the advent of the World Tree and monsters, guilds with large numbers of awakeners were no different than the mafias in daylight.
They fight day and night over the incredible concession of dungeons. Rather than taking action to punish them, the South Korean government has been chuckling and snooping at the straw.
The fact that an organization called the Awakened Society was originally established for this straw was known to all who knew.
Lee Ji-ah, who was listening at the time, opened her mouth.
The team leader’s eyes widened. What the hell was she going to say?!
“What is it?”
“If you admit it was your mistake…… Do you pay compensation to the bereaved family?”
“Reward? I don’t-…. I don’t know if that person belongs to our guild, but there’s no rule like that, right?”
“But for Do-joon, the family he needs to support……!”
“Who in the world doesn’t have a story. We can’t look at each of those things.”
The lawyer grimaced openly and left.
Lee Ji-ah looked devastated at the indisputable answer. Looking at it, the team leader took out a cigarette and thought of a saying.
Originally, this kind of thing is common when you’re working here. You shouldn’t expect anything from high-ranking guilds, take care of yourself as you’ll only get hurt if you make a fuss, etc.
There was a lot to say.
But he didn’t.
“Jia, if you have taken care of your business here, then go on a vacation.”
In the end, the only words that came out were this.
With a deep face, Lee Ji-ah retreated.
Soon, she took a taxi and headed to the hospital.
* * *
A white hospital room.
Jeong Da-jeong is a nurse who has been taking care of patients in this ward of the hospital for several years. Even today, she was busy examining the patient’s condition and organizing the hospital room.
At that time, a patient lying in bed talked to her.
Jeong Da-jeong approached the bed with a bright face.
“Yes? What’s wrong, my So-eun?”
“When is Daddy coming……?”
“Well. I guess daddy is busy these days. Shall we call him later?”
After saying those words, So-eun closed her eyes. It must have been very difficult for her to say, and sweat was dripping down her cute little face.
Jeong Da-jung took out a towel with a sad face and wiped her sweat.
‘Are you really busy?’
Suddenly, she had a bad feeling.
She has seen many sick children in long-term hospitalization. Most of their parents come to the hospital day after day, grieving and regretting their child’s illness.
But what if those days lasted for years instead of months?
There were also parents who gradually stopped coming.
It was so painful to see a sick child, that they turned their eyes away without realizing it.
It’s not that they’re bad. As a childless woman, she could not arbitrarily judge the feelings of parents with sick children.
She just felt sorry for the child.
‘Not So-eun’s father!’
Being depressed, she soon shook her head vigorously and shook off her thoughts. So-eun’s father, Do-joon, cared and loved So-eun so much that she could count on her fingers among the parents she had seen.
Except when he was really busy, there wasn’t a single day he didn’t come to the hospital room.
So it’s probably just a busy thing right now.
But after 30 minutes.
“……What? What did you say?”
She heard the news of a bolt out of the blue from Lee Ji-ah, who visited the hospital room.
* * *
Do-joon’s fist pierced the skeleton’s skull. At the same time, arrows and fireballs flew from behind.
With the sound of the air slicing, it rushed to Do-joon.
At first glance, he was frightened and tried to retreat, but Do-joon moved forward.
He lowered his posture as much as he could and ran as fast as he could. Arrows and fireballs all passed overhead.
Skeleton archers and wizards started preparing for the second strike.
In the blink of an eye, Do-joon’s axe, which narrowed the distance in an instant, smashed their spines.
More than 10 skeleton archers and wizards. Do-joon wandered among them like a wolf in a flock. They were helpless against Do-joon, who approached them closely.
【You have defeated the monster. Experience (EXP) increases.】
【Fit rate has increased.】
When all the skeletons were killed, a message stating that fit rate had increased rang. There were wounds all over him, but slowly healed due to the effect of regeneration (medium).
Do-joon opened the status window.
– Kim Do-joon
– Destruction Lv10, Agility Lv12 (10+2), Vitality Lv10, Magic Lv10, Sense Lv11 (10+1)
– Potion Production
– Additional Attack 20~40
– Agility +2 Lv
– Sense +1Lv
– Skill: Regeneration (medium) cooldown 300s
– Skill: Strength Increase (lower) cooldown 1h
– Skill: Speed Increase (lower) cooldown 1h
– Skill: Durability Increase (lower) cooldown 1h
– Skill: Visual Rise (lower) cooldown 1h
It’s been a week since he entered the labyrinth.
Even before he knew it, the fit rate was 10%, and the Additional Options became quite rich.
Options copied from the potion he had and items obtained from the four shelters during this week.
All of the items obtained from the shelter were regular items similar to that of the Kujika’s axe, leaving only one of them as a copy material.
【Left Gauntlet of Delos】
– The gauntlet used by the well-known mercenary Delos. Light and firm. There is only one side left.
– Additional Defense +10
– Physical resistance +3%
– When attacked, you receive the effect of Regeneration (Medium) for 30 seconds.
The only one gauntlet that remained behind was the one that Do-joon was wearing on his left hand right now.
It could be used as a substitute for a shield because the defense option was far superior compared to the feeling of light-weightness of this armor.
“There seems to be no more shelters.”
Do-joon smacked his lips.
For the past week, Do-joon has devoted his life and soul to exploring the labyrinth, except for sleeping time. As a result, he was able to almost explore the whole labyrinth and where he was now was the last area.
‘I’ve already found the boss room.’
The door to the boss room seems to have been found.
But he didn’t go in. He didn’t know how difficult the boss would be, so he thought of doing everything he could.
He was looking for more shelters (because there were items in the shelters), and he was steadily using the copying ability with the items he has, and also increasing his fit rate by slaying the skeletons.
But there seems to be no more shelter.
Do-joon marked the last corner of the map he drew himself with an X.
There was no shelter and no more items to copy. Quite a pale reason to be in the labyrinth.
Apparently, skeletons began to reappear in the passageways that had been cleared up.
This labyrinth was truly unique. Usually the monsters of dungeons are dead when they die. They do not reappear or anything.
However, here, after every certain period of time, monsters appeared endlessly.
At first, Do-joon had a blue face, but now…….
“Another set of experiences has appeared.”
It was just a smile.